A statement issued by SSE today (Thursday 13th) confirms that the company have submitted the Western Isles transmission link Needs Case.
The statement from SSE says: “Following recent positive developments, SHE Transmission is this week submitting its Needs Case to the regulator for developing the Western Isles transmission link.
“The Needs Case, which is part of the regulatory process, outlines why the link is required and identifies a way forward following assessment of potential options. Giving consideration to whether the solution is efficient and economic, the information will be assessed by Ofgem before any decision is made to allow a financial investment to be made.
“The decision to submit the Needs Case follows the publication of the Scottish Islands Renewables Report last month which outlined that there are significant benefits to developing renewables on the Islands but that additional support for generating electricity from renewables on the islands needs to represent value for money for the consumer.
“The response to the report from the UK and Scottish Government represents a positive indication that the long-standing issue of island affordability is being considered by Ministers. Work is also continuing on the future level of island transmission charges.
“Following these policy decisions, developers will need time to consider the financial impact on their respective projects before confirming their final position. The timescales for this confirmation are unknown as they are dependent on the form and timing of any Government decisions.
“SHE Transmission has already spent over £5 million developing options, consulting communities, applying for planning permission and engaging suppliers on the link which, at a cost of around £780 million, is one of Scotland’s largest infrastructure projects. This work has continued throughout the assessment of the economic viability of projects on the islands.”
David Gardner, Director of Transmission, commented: “The publication of the Scottish Islands Renewables Project Report and its conclusions has been followed by some encouraging discussions that have demonstrated a desire to overcome the issue of island affordability. In recognition of this we are submitting a Needs Case to Ofgem setting out a strong case for the Western Isles link.
“After nine years of developing proposals for this link we are hopeful that Government will help us make the case for this vital transmission infrastructure to release the wealth of renewables on the Western Isles.”